This CNNi report shares the good-natured label in these men’s pants made by Madhouse. In case you can’t see all the words, it reads “Give it to your woman: it’s her job.”
The chino’s owner’s girlfriend, British journalist Emma Barnett, broke the story.
Obviously, a guy designed that label. And I know why. He simply got tired of the joke in his pants, so he added one to everyone’s. Ba-dum-dum!
When I was younger I had the same attitude as that joker.
Now, I do my own laundry. And I vividly recall the moment that habit started 23-years ago.
In May of 1989, I returned from my freshman year at Notre Dame with a present for my mother: two enormous duffle bags crammed with dirty clothes. (Note: ND once provided a laundry service for its students, so I never had to learn how to wash my own clothes. At the end of the semester, I’d simply been too lazy to schlep my laundry across campus. Hence, the two duffles full. Nice son, right?)
Mom joked that she’d being doing wash for weeks. While fulfilling her prophecy, she took a full basket of wet laundry outside to dry on the line. En route, stubbed her pinky toe against a concrete step and broke it (the toe, not the step).
In and of itself, this wasn’t a medical disaster. But the injury did force my father, an infamous sleep-kicker, to spend the night on the couch. And the next night. All totaled, he spent sixty nights in Sofa City.
Yes, by mid-August, Mom’s toe still had not healed.
As I prepared to head back to Notre Dame for my sophomore year, triple digit temperatures and high humidity melted the New York area. This hit The Reidy’s particularly hard, since we were the only family on the block without central air conditioning. (Last family to get cable TV, last to get Nintendo…)
To beat the heat, the five of us spent all our time in the basement, excuse me, “the downstairs,” where the temperature remained 20-degrees cooler than upstairs.
During my last weekend at home, my mother began doing the laundry I’d accumulated throughout the summer. Saturday afternoon my brother Patrick (11), sister Anne-Marie (9) and I stared blankly at the TV as Dad aimlessly flipped channels while Mom folded the first load of my clean clothes.
He paused on the New York Mets baseball game long enough for us to hear the play-by-play announcer mention, “Daryl Strawberry is back in the lineup, seven-days after breaking his big toe.”
I bolted upright, unable to contain the joke that sprouted in my brain. With a huge grin, I winked at my father.
“Hey, Mom!” She stopped folding and turned to me with a marked lack of interest. “Daryl Strawberry broke his big toe last week, and he’s already back on the field. You broke your pinky toe in May, and Dad’s still on the couch!” I cracked myself up.
Rich Reidy didn’t laugh. Didn’t even smirk. He took in a quick breath, which he held, and then fearfully glanced at his wife.
Her glare could have frozen lava. She took a lengthy drag on her cigarette.
“Well, James, maybe you should ask Daryl Strawberry to finish doing your wash.”
Without another word, Loretta Reidy threw down the shirt she had been folding, picked up one of the three trashy romance novels she has open at any given time and began reading.
With at least six loads of wash remaining, I was hung out to dry laundry-wise.
Later that night, I found my father alone in the kitchen. “Dad, my Darryl Strawberry line was hilarious! Why didn’t you laugh?”
He did that thing where he looks around to make sure the close is clear.
“Sure, Jamie, it was funny.” My old man leaned close to me, like a junkie desperate for a fix. “But, I couldn’t laugh.”
Off my confusion, he explained, “Listen, I’m just trying to get back in The Big Bed.”
Now, that’s a smart man whose laundry always gets done.
That italicized essay will appear in Jamie Reidy’s upcoming book, “A Walk’s As Good As A Hit: Advice/Threats from My Old Man.” Look for it on Amazon.com in mid-April.